Fear Can Be A Good Thing


As a survival-preparedness blog, we are sometimes dealing with subjects of fear. We don’t stick to just fluff or only topics which are safe and comfortable to cope or interact with. Sometimes subjects may even seem outrageous — and some really are just that…

As for being scared, fear can be a good thing, as long as it does not cripple you. Fear can allow you to take precautions and prepare for the worst, and to move you into action…

Some people prefer the ‘stick your head in the sand’ mentality, which allows their denial to give them a false sense of security. These same people will often lash out at others who say things that challenge their beliefs (or ignorance).

When an ostrich is scared, some say it will bury its head in the sand, assuming that because it cannot see, it cannot be seen. It is an interesting way to avoid a problem. The ‘ostrich mentality’ is when a person refuses to confront the issues that are facing him, whatever they may be.

To compliment the ‘head in the sand’ mentality or the ‘ostrich mentality’, people also assume that because something has never happened to them before, therefore it never will (or likely will never happen to them). This creates another false sense of security.

Although the ostrich metaphor is apparently a myth…

Ostriches swallow sand and pebbles to help grind up food in their stomachs. This means they have to bend down and briefly stick their heads in the earth to collect the pebbles.

…everyone knows what we mean by the phrase — humans who refuse to accept reality, preferring to ignore the truth (or potential truth).

It is also interesting how some people will immediately become aggressive to a source or messenger of information which may be uncomfortable or even outrageous. Rather than calmly using persuasive logic in an attempt to quell their fear, or perhaps change the opinion of another, or even take action upon realizing the truth of the fear — there is often an emotional skirmish which results instead. I’m not a psychologist, but I do find it an interesting observation.

Is this human behavior because of fear? I’m not sure. However…

Fear keeps you alive. At the most basic level, fear is a survival instinct. It is a necessary response to threats and dangers. It has protected us as a species from extinction.

Fear is the precursor to possibility or realization. Fear often comes before possibility. Every great dream is usually a little (or a-lot) fearful. When we feel the fear of chasing a big dream, with that also comes the awesome reality of actualizing that dream.

Fear inspires action. If we are afraid of something or some possibility, we will either stick our heads in the sand, or we will do something about it. It is a very powerful motivator.

Fear builds confidence. When you do something that scares you, you become stronger. The more you challenge yourself and overcome your fears, the stronger your confidence will get. Each step outside your comfort zone and into fear builds confidence.

Fear can open your eyes to real or potential danger. Rather than running from fearful information, when you confront it and embrace it you may choose to discover its risk potential and merits (or lack of). It requires some critical thinking along with thinking outside the box. Some fears may be more real than you think due to your conditioning.

The lesson here as it relates to survival preparedness is to keep your eyes open, to not immediately dispute or ignore a potential threat, and to use your own judgement while evaluating the possibilities. You may surprise yourself now and again…

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  1. My grandfather always said that “A scared man is a dangerous man”. He was a beat cop for thirty years and had a lot of close shaves that he was lucky did not turn out to be “final”. I know that personally, fear [and the adrenaline that comes with it] seems to heighten all the senses, especially vision and hearing.

  2. Fear is something you either get over or become succumbed to it’s effects. There is nothing worse than NOT being afraid of some situations as they come from no where and are usually deadly. If you have no fear or say you do not have fear of say a firefight then you are just lying to yourself. There is nothing more fearful than having an enemy facing you and shooting weapons to kill you. I say this because fear gives you adrenaline and that in itself can sometimes save you from certain death. Fear also will open your eyes to certain factors that cannot be seen otherwise. I wouldn’t say that living IN fear is good but I certainly wouldn’t want a team member that isn’t afraid of death or being shot as their mentality will get you killed as they tend to want to rush into things instead of calmly thinking about what needs to be done and following orders. Fear can also cripple you and you might ‘freeze up” under a stressful environment. I agree with “Ancona” that testing yourself and overcoming your fear by ACTION is really the only way you will truly gain advantage over your fears. Be it as it may a lot of people have never had to do something outside their comfort zone and even will not think of doing so. This kind of fear will get you killed thus the reason why in the military you are pushed outside your comfort zone and it teaches you that the things you fear can be overcome with a level head and a good plan of action. I truly don’t foresee a good ending for a lot of people because they fear things they need not fear…Like living in the wood for some is NOT and option yet if they have to live in the wood they will have no actual experience and not knowing HOW to do things that you never done before is quite a hair raising experience and most will not even try. Fear is something we all have…My fear is heights and I try to overcome this by small steps and not a big leap and bound. We can all achieve and persist over our greatest fears if we only try to face them and in so doing defeat what once was scary.

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